Favorite Protest Songs #4 - "War"

@teamfreak16 (42070)
Denver, Colorado
September 26, 2016 8:18am CST
I've used two or three classic's in my Favorite Protest Songs series, but #4 is THE classic protest tune: Edwin Starr's anti-Vietnam song, "War." Edwin Starr was a powerhouse R&B singer who began recording in 1951, and made music until his death in 2003. Although he easily adapted to the disco era, and had much success in the UK after moving to London, he is best remembered for "War." His intense version of "War" was originally recorded by The Temptations. Due to image concerns, however, it was never released as a single. Edwin Starr volunteered to rerecord it, and made the song legendary. It sold over three million copies, says Wikipedia, and was certified Gold. "War" was a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and reached #3 in the UK. The song is in the Grammy Hall of Fame. "War" has been covered numerous times, notably by Bruce Springsteen, the Beastie Boys, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood (I am particularly fond of Frankie's brilliant version.) So, if "War" is the greatest protest song ever, why is it only ranked at #4? Simply because, over time, a few have grown on me and I listen to them more often. Really, that's it.
Original video of Edwin Starr singing his famous song: "War" [Original Music video from 1969] Originally written under the Motown label, and first performed ...
12 people like this
10 responses
@LoriAMoore (4663)
• United States
26 Sep 16
Oh great thanks, now that song is stuck in my head. Always liked that song. Ear worm, ear worm!
3 people like this
@teamfreak16 (42070)
• Denver, Colorado
26 Sep 16
There are worse songs to get stuck in your head!
1 person likes this
@CinnamonGrl (6074)
• Paradise, California
26 Sep 16
Love it. Now I'll have it in my head all day.
2 people like this
@teamfreak16 (42070)
• Denver, Colorado
26 Sep 16
Hey, two "stuck in my head" comments in a row! I must be doing something right.
1 person likes this
• Paradise, California
26 Sep 16
@teamfreak16 Depends on how soon I hear something else that sticks in my head haha. This might be gone soon
1 person likes this
@FayeHazel (21433)
• United States
26 Sep 16
I've always liked that lyric "What is it good for? Absolutely nothing".... Also referenced in the movie "Gulliver's Travels" with Jack Black
2 people like this
@teamfreak16 (42070)
• Denver, Colorado
27 Sep 16
Huh. I never saw it. Guess I'd better watch it.
@Corbin5 (119948)
• United States
26 Sep 16
Freshman in college when that one came out. College was an interesting experience in the 70s.
2 people like this
@teamfreak16 (42070)
• Denver, Colorado
26 Sep 16
I'll bet. Probably more so than in the 80's.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (65437)
• Los Angeles, California
26 Sep 16
One of the great Vietnam era protest songs. What is it good for?
2 people like this
@teamfreak16 (42070)
• Denver, Colorado
26 Sep 16
Ah yes, welcome back. Hope your vacation went well.
2 people like this
• Preston, England
27 Sep 16
saw Edwin Starr live - he ended up singing War about 4 times in the one show - his other work is great too but this is definitive
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (42070)
• Denver, Colorado
27 Sep 16
Four times? That's a lot of "War."
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
27 Sep 16
@teamfreak16 yes, though with such a great song, why not? Reminds me of this sketch from TV's Big Train series with Ralph McTell forced to sing Streets Of London over and over again
Ralph McTell is forced to play his hit song Streets of London for a baying crowd. Funny sketch from BBC comedy show Big Train.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (42070)
• Denver, Colorado
27 Sep 16
@arthurchappell - That was pretty funny. I take it he's not part of the cast?
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
26 Sep 16
It was a great protest song and there was much to protest. I didn't know that Springsteen recorded it. Now I want hear Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (42070)
• Denver, Colorado
26 Sep 16
Here you go. Hope you like it.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
26 Sep 16
@teamfreak16 Thanks! That was totally different.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (42070)
• Denver, Colorado
26 Sep 16
@JamesHxstatic - I always liked what they did with it.
1 person likes this
@Bluedoll (17041)
• Canada
27 Sep 16
Thanks for the video. Listened to that song a lot but never seen the face behind the music. So a first for me. I like the "yoall" in it. Couldn't help watching another version "u-all" while I was on the same page from a movie with the sound track once again.
http://jackiechan-fan.blogspot.com Jackie Chan and Chris tucker singing War! in Rush hour.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (42070)
• Denver, Colorado
27 Sep 16
I remember that scene. Funny movie.
@Bluedoll (17041)
• Canada
28 Sep 16
@teamfreak16 I enjoyed the movie as well. I saw one blooper where someone fell off a building and Chris said well he wouldn't be in the next movie. Funny. I really like the idea and meaning behind that classic song though.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (15878)
• United States
27 Sep 16
Edwin really got his James Brown on in this song!
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (42070)
• Denver, Colorado
27 Sep 16
Yeah, he most certainly did. Grunts and all.
1 person likes this
@amadeo (76306)
• United States
26 Sep 16
thanks for the information there.